And we lived predictably ever after

Oh, my. My my my. Thank you to everyone who rushed to stroke my hair and tell me I’m a GOOD AND KIND AND VERY USEFUL ENGINE. You are sweet and silly because of course I wasn’t saying that I suck in every possible way, I was just venting on having done something I regretted, and then life goes on.

Of course, those of you who took this opportunity to lecture me on what I should say or do remind me that yes, one DOES need to be careful about what they blog, because there is always someone out there who 1) assumes they know you inside and out from just a peek into your life and 2) therefore feels entitled to tell you how to behave. Yes, I am duly chastened. Thanks for that. Now, given that we’re so close and all, maybe you could get your ass over here and do the dishes? I mean, since we’re on such intimate terms. Thanks.

As for us, amazingly the earth continued to spin and our routines marched onward.

There’s a bit of skulking around that happens after a marital skirmish; we’re both sorry, we want to move on and forget about That Thing that was unpleasant but has been analyzed and discussed and apologized and whatever, but things just feel a little off, and it’s not as though everything snaps immediately back into place.

In situations like these, both Otto and I revert to the love languages we speak best. I smothered some really nice salmon in about half a head of garlic and some other spices and grilled it up for dinner last night, and Otto graciously drove all the way out to Middle Nowhere—after a full day of work, and in the un-air-conditioned truck—to pick up a daybed I’d spotted on Craigslist and wanted for the kids’ playroom.

By the time we’d unloaded the bed and moved it upstairs, all residual feelings of discomfit had run their course, and we passed the evening watching Mythbusters while I worked on my laptop and looked up periodically to see how battered poor Buster was looking now.

This morning we negotiated a trade wherein Otto ran the kids to school and I took the snowmobile to the body shop, and it was all very cozy and domestic. Plus, they rented me a Prius so that was pretty cool, because what is not to like about a car that you start by sliding a box of Tic-Tacs into a slot and then pushing a big button? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.

And in the meantime, the settling in is moving along even when I think it’s not. Like, I think I mentioned that we were very ambivalent about the kids taking the bus, but then I discovered that waiting in the pick-up line for an hour every afternoon was GOING TO KILL ME, so after a “test run” of having them ride the bus home, we have arrived at the compromise that the kids will receive a ride TO school (both because the bus comes at the butt-crack of dawn—too early—and dropping off is a drive-through, simple process) but will ride the bus HOME from school without much complaint.

The first day on the bus, Monkey was a bit overwhelmed and cried a little, and so of course some pack of vulture-like older boys tormented him mercilessly, which of course made him cry more. At home we had to have the “if you don’t cry they won’t tease you” discussion, which caused me to die a little on the inside, but it was a good reminder for me that life, she requires a fair bit of sucking it up even at a fairly young age. Do I want to teach my son that it’s wrong to cry? No. But I want him to not be teased even more, and so I will do my best to let him know that there’s nothing wrong with crying, but maybe we could save it for someplace where bullies can’t use it against us. Sigh. (The good news is that he’s been fine ever since, which just goes to show you that even squishy, snuggly, sensitive Mama’s boys can grow a little bit of crunchy shell when needed.)

And then, well, I was paying bills last night and noticed a charge from Chickadee’s orthodontist up north, which I thought was very odd because, gee, aren’t we done paying them yet? Seems like I’ve been making payments to them forever, and she doesn’t even have braces yet. So then I went back in my records and discovered that in fact, they’ve been charging me every month—sometimes TWICE!—and I hadn’t even noticed. Whoops. I added it all up, and whaddaya know, it looks like I’ve now paid for that stupid wire in her mouth plus several additional boat payments for the orthodontist.

This is the sort of crisis I’m excellent at. Do you want to overcharge ME, the Queen of Cheap, for something? Well, you just need to ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky?

My phone call with the orthodontist’s office this morning was highly entertaining, first as they ASSURED me that they’d done no such thing, then as she went through her records looking for the billing dates and amounts I gave her, and finally when she continued to maintain that I must be in error and I offered to simply dispute the charges through my credit card company she magically unearthed the extra charges. “Oh, that’s a keystroke error,” she assured me, as if that made it all better.

“That’s a rather pricey keystroke error,” I pointed out, “so I’m sure you’ll be fixing that for me right away, since it’s so easy to do?” (I’m still an asshole. This time I was a justified one, though.) Now I’m feeling a bit rich because hey! Money I didn’t know I had! But I plan to blow it all on fast living and extra mortgages, so don’t be too jealous.

Last night I also found out—although it’s not clear if my source was accurate or not—the highly-lauded gifted program in this district (which requires testing for admittance) apparently only does testing in the Spring. Now, I have played nice and whenever I inquired about the program I accepted the head pat and accompanying explanation about how the kids have to test in, they can’t just be PUT in on my good word (or, apparently, on Monkey’s test scores, which the staff spent most of his 504 meeting marveling over and pointing out how they’d never seen such a high IQ at his age, thankyouverymuch), but upon being told that they’d basically just have to sit out the entire year because the testing isn’t done in the Fall? Um, no. Not okay. I put on my best southern charm and emailed the principal to discuss this matter, because I’m CERTAIN that the information I received was ERRONEOUS. I just KNOW that things can’t possibly be set in stone like that and that children new to the district could potentially be deprived of an entire year of instruction this way, right? Bless their hearts.

In other news, I was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, except I wasn’t, and that was sort of exciting right up until the righteous indignation kicked in.

Listen, don’t ever worry about me. As the song says, I get knocked down and I get up again, because the business of being me, it’s pretty time consuming. It’s a full-time job being me. It’s not like I get to take a vacation whenever my widdle feelings get bruised. I’ve got things to do, like see how many errands I can manufacture to take that Prius out on, and work to take care of, and more prepositions to dangle (my GOD I think I may have left my grammar skills at the car rental place), and bills to dispute and Mama Bear-ing to do on the kids’ behalf and there simply isn’t time to sit around wallowing for very long.

Thank goodness.


  1. Tree


  2. Kerry

    I don’t have anything of value to say(do I ever?) but I wanted to be the first commenter! WOO HOO!

  3. LeeAnn

    Good luck on getting your child tested for the Gifted Program. You must really love bashing your head against a rock. My son took the test, received the same scores as his sister but wasn’t admitted into the program. I inquired as to why and was told that his scores would have admitted him if he had been a year older…WTF. I fought this and hit a stone wall every time I called the school for an update. They let me go thru the motions but had no intention of letting him in. Hope you have better luck.

  4. Leandra

    I didn’t follow the link to the Wall Street Journal thing yet, but I think they have a habit of doing that. They were supposed to do a story on my mom but it somehow never got done.

    How’d the parmesan cheese grits turn out?

    And since you have such an excellent record with insurance companies, do you think you could call the idiots at mine? Ummm. Bless their hearts?

  5. Stephanie Chance

    You’re my hero!

  6. Karen

    You had me at “get your ass over here and do my dishes.”

  7. Heather

    Sounds like things are just a tad on the side of crazy! Good luck with it all, pretty lady :-) As much as my reassurance means heh…here, “It’ll all be okay.”

  8. Angela

    Whats even cooler is the fact that the tictac box can be in your purse and the car will still start, provided your purse is in the car. Also, you don’t have to touch the box to unlock the doors when you’re standing outside your car. It will sense the transmitter and unlock and then you’ll sit down and it will sense the transmitter is in the car and as long as your pressing down on the brake pedal or whatever when you press the button it will start. I test drove one of those and man is it nice. Seriously there is something amazing about starting a car with a button and no key and unlocking it without digging in your purse.

  9. Bob

    there had better be “refreshments” if I’m to do a buttload of dishes.

  10. Susan

    That last long paragraph totally kicked ass.

    That’s all.

  11. Kris

    We’re destined for the 504 route also. Bug is finally diagnosed Asperger’s (high IQ but low EQ (emotional quotient)) and that also explains a lot of her sensory and lack of impulse stuff. I’m betting Monkey is the same way.

    And gifted program? HAH! Our school can’t be bothered. I’ve been hearing “it’s in the works” for YEARS now.

    One question though – his grades are really good, yeah? Just social stuff is low? How do you get them to DO anything for him? In our school if the academic grade is fine “there’s not a problem,” which we both know is total BS.

  12. MomCat

    I won’t do dishes, but I’d bring wine.

    I do not think I *know* the real Mir by reading the blog, but I empathize with the feelings you so eloquently express. : D

  13. Aimee

    Heh… well, let me know if any of the lecturers show up with sponges and dish detergent, because that would be a day to remember!

    In other news: Mmmmmm. Grilled salmon.

  14. ScottsdaleGirl

    Lawd I am tired after that. But I must have gigled at least eleventy times so, it’s all good.

    I also am now hearing that song by Denis Leary? “I’m an asshole!”

  15. BOSSY

    Yeah, wrinkles are OK. Marital wrinkles, that is.

  16. ChristieNY

    “..even squishy, snuggly, sensitive Mama’s boys can grow a little bit of crunchy shell when needed” – THANK YOU! I have a squishy pre-schooler here, your words are more comforting than you know. :)

    And for the record, we know you’re a strong Southern Belle (not being sarcastic, you’re acclimating surprisingly well!) and can handle all life throws at you. We just wanted to be a bit of a soft landing, if that makes sense.

    Good luck with the school stuff and enjoy the cool rental! :P

  17. Manic Mommy

    Christie NY beat me to the punch – I’m raising one very sensitive soon-to-be-five, momma’s boy. I don’t want a bully but I don’t want him pushed around either. Tough balance. Good to know round one went okay with Monkey.

    Regarding the Southern Belle comment, Around here (maybe in New England, maybe just in my family) it’s called being a bitch and it’s meant as a compliment.

  18. tuney

    I think it’s cute (and not a little scary) that you have to put us well-meaning readers gently in our place every now and then. *quietly retreating to lurkerland and taking my assvice with me*

  19. Heidi

    I am so glad that you found that you were being overcharged and that you called the company on it. I hope that they quickly get it fixed and your money is returned! Hope that you and Otto are feeling better still and the kiddos are doing well in school!

  20. chris

    I need a nap. And I am only half way through the post.

  21. Catherine

    As I was toodling down the road I was thinking about your car woes. Why? I dunno. Needed to block out the screaming kids in the backseat I suppose. At first I thought, what a pain in the arse to have to move car seats back and forth, etc. And then I thought, no! her kids are in school, they *might* have boosters but those are easy to move. She’s not having to LATCH seats in constantly. So, there’s your glass half full perspective.


  22. Sophie

    Yea for crunchy shells!

  23. Henrietta

    Its the squeaky wheel gets the grease not the quiet well bred one. Do I see endless boxes of shoes in that mail box? VBG Thank you for that link at Want Not BTW, I now have two pairs of very classy clearance shoes for less than half of what I would normally expect to pay for one pair.

  24. Jenni

    Don’t you wish there was a special font or something you could use to type sarcasm. I think it would make all blogger’s lives easier.

  25. Ayla-Monic

    Good luck getting Monkey and Chickadee tested for the Gifted Program. Keep harassing the board, eventually they’ll have to give in and let them get tested early, or file a restraining order on you. Preferably the latter…

  26. AmyM

    My son also needs a gifted program. There used to be one. But now there isn’t. “Budget cuts.” Thank goodness the budget cuts haven’t adversely affected the wrestling and footballs teams. Because those state championships are oh-so-beneficial to education. Which is why I plan on homeschooling.

  27. Chris

    I wasn’t too worried because after reading all your posts I just know you’ll be ok.
    Now, could you please come over here and argue a few of my erroneous errors for me? You do have a way with words. ;)

  28. McSwain

    Tell your school that your kids are entitled to a “free and appropriate education” under the law, and that appropriate for your son’s IQ means he doesn’t wait until spring to be tested.

    Good luck. I’m a teacher and my son goes to school in my district, but I’ve still been battling on getting the appropriate gifted education for him.

  29. becky

    DAMMIT, woman, if I have tubthumping stuck in my head all night I blame YOU!

    Yeah, I haven’t any doubts that you’ll bounce back nor will you worry too much about advice (assvice?) from random internet peoples. Because, huh, seems like you’re a pretty strong woman there, Mir. Uh, and you’re pretty.

  30. nan

    Hey, we will NEVER have a gifted program out here, so… Glass half full for you. You will just have to do what we call “unschooling” till the spring or whenever. Let them breeze through regular classes, and try to stimulate them after school and weekends. They will be fine. Just be grateful you will never have to struggle with reading practise, learning times tables and explaining math. Its kinda nice to have kids who whiz through school.

  31. LuAnn

    Do you give a$$hole lessons? Cause I sally forth into battle every day at work and sometimes I’m just too damned nice! :p

  32. Jenny

    I think I want a Prius. I also want to sign up for asshole lessons. I tend to get all red in the face and tongue-tied in situations requiring assholery and only think of the absolutely brilliant and cutting remarks I could have made after I’m half an hour or 25 miles away from the situation.

    Keep hounding them about the gifted program. It’s still a legend in our family about the monumental rage that consumed my mother when she called the high school guidance counsellor to see why I had inexplicably not been placed in an AP class for the next year and the counsellor said, “Well, they really only need those classes if they’re planning on going to college.”


    I’m sure you can imagine how that went.

  33. Belinda

    We need to get together. You can give me good ol’ Yankee assertiveness training, and I will instruct you on proper sarcastic/passive-aggressive use of phrases such as “bless his heart” and “God love her.”

  34. Daisy

    I don’t know how Georgia schools operate…but in my district the TAG (Talented and Gifted) teachers set time aside in the fall to test students new to the district. The lovely South wouldn’t want to be shown up by us Frozen Northerners, would they? And the FAPE…no district likes the threat of an IDEA complaint hanging over their head. But save that for your last resort.

  35. Bridget

    Wow – I’ve been reading your site for a very long time, and through the links on this post, discovered that you freelance for a company in Erlanger, KY. And I’m sitting in Erlanger, KY right now, very close to that company’s headquarters! Rest assured I’ll be using that website in the future for my nieces and nephews, supporting a local business. Thanks!

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